Andy McSmith's Diary: Here’s one way of keeping Nadine Dorries quiet

 

The election that is currently occupying the minds of MPs more than any other is for the post of Deputy Speaker, to replace Nigel Evans, who stood aside while he faces criminal charges.

By convention, Evans’s replacement has to be a Conservative, because both the incumbent deputy speakers are Labour. Hence all the committed or possible candidates – Brian Binley, Simon Burns, Nadine Dorries and Eleanor Laing – are Tories.

Simon Burns, who until recently was a transport minister, is assumed to be Downing Street’s preferred choice, though how he can be expected to work in harmony with the Speaker, John Bercow, whom he has described as a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf” is a mystery. It is a symptom of how much the Tories loathe Bercow that Burns is a contender at all.

But though all the candidates may be Tories, the electorate consists of MPs of all parties, so it is by no means certain that the candidate of the Tory high command will win.

Nadine Dorries is making a virtue out of being the candidate David Cameron is least likely to support. She has sent every MP an email saying “I am obviously not the No 10 candidate, something which in the election of a Deputy Speaker should not exist.”

She has another odd sales pitch. She is a maverick, whose views jar on most MPs, though she has proved to be impartial in debates she has chaired in the secondary chamber in Westminster Hall; and if she were Deputy Speaker, she would not take part in any debate while she holds that office. As she put it in her round-robin email: “If you don’t agree with my position on abortion, this would be a good way to shut me up!” Now there is a thought.

Baker to rock Westminster  to its core

There was much comment yesterday about the newly appointed Home Office minister, Norman Baker, and his oddball conspiracy theories about the deaths of Robin Cook and Dr David Kelly.

A fact in danger of being overlooked is that the Liberal Democrat MP for Lewes is also, at the tender age of 56, a wannabe rock star. He is leader of The Reform Club, a four-piece band.

In March, they released their first album, which included the track “Piccadilly Circus”, and an accompanying video. Not having heard “Piccadilly Circus” myself, I am prepared to trust the judgement of the Daily Telegraph’s chief pop and rock critic, Neil McCormick – “the song and performance is banal, obvious and pedestrian”.

But to be Young was very heaven...

Among documents put online yesterday by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation there is note to the Prime Minister written in the summer of 1982 by her parliamentary secretary Ian Gow with suggestions for a possible reshuffle.

Gow wrote the word ‘out’ alongside the name of a junior environment minister, Sir George Young. In the event, there was no reshuffle in 1982, and even after yesterday’s, he remains Chief Whip.

Radio 4’s Kearney fooled by Twitter spoof

There was a red-faced moment for Martha Kearney, during Radio 4’s World At One coverage of yesterday’s reshuffle after she told listeners that the backbench Tory MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg, had cheekily tweeted “my phone is very much on”. Jacob Rees-Mogg has never been on Twitter in his life. She was looking at a spoof account.

No name for Ukip refusenik Pain

If anyone out there can think of a suitable name for a new political group, Cllr Chris Pain, former Ukip leader on Lincolnshire County Council may be interested. That was where Ukip scored its biggest gains in May’s local elections, winning 16 seats to become the authority’s official opposition. Then Mr Pain, who was its leader, was expelled from Ukip for reasons that were not made public. He and five others broke away to form a group called “Ukip Lincolnshire”, but they have been ordered by party headquarters to drop the name.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager - Salesforce / Reports / CRM - North London - NfP

£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Project Administrator

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn